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Nothing more than a balcony, a terrace or a private garden, especially when you live in the city. This direct access to the outside enhances the apartment. But can we arrange it with the same freedom as the interior rooms? Let's see together your rights and obligations.

Balcony and terrace: my rights and duties

Balcony and terrace: my rights and duties

Before deciding any development on your balcony or terrace, take the time to consult the condo rules. It is he who regulates the life of all the inhabitants and he will tell you your rights and obligations.

Do not forget to go check the planning regulations of the city where you live. They may be more restrictive than the condo regulations.
And make sure you have a good liability insurance that will cover you in case of accident: fall of a flowerpot, flood of the neighbor, etc.

On the other hand, a balcony or a terrace accepts only limited loads (on average 350 kg per sqm for recent works). So be careful what you install...

Can you plant plants on your balcony or terrace?

Yes, you can install plants on your balcony or terrace. On the other hand, for reasons of safety and aesthetics, the balcony boxes must be turned towards the inside of the railing. And you can not let your favorite climbing plant go to the front of the facade or overflow at the neighbor's.
With regard to plant varieties, the co-ownership regulations may be restrictive.

Be careful when watering the water should not flow to the neighbor you overhang. You will be held responsible for damage caused by seepage or water runoff at home or on the facade.

Can you install a barbecue on your balcony or terrace?

It all depends on the bylaws and the condo bylaw. Generally, the electric table barbecue is allowed. Often for safety reasons, the gas barbecue or charcoal grill is forbidden.

When using your barbecue, think of your neighbors. Smokes and smells must not disturb them. Excessive use of your barbecue may be considered an abnormal neighborhood disorder.

Who says barbecue also often says friends and... laughs, shouts, songs, ect. Remember that daytime or nighttime noise is punishable by law.

Can you extend your laundry on your balcony or terrace?

In principle, no. Most condominium regulations and by-laws prohibit it. Sometimes it is allowed a few hours in the day and some days of the week. A small mobile clothes rack (not exceeding the height of the guardrail) can be tolerated.
Can you install your pet on your balcony or terrace?

Doggie and kitty can sunbathe on the terrace or the balcony but, they must not in any way harm the tranquility of your neighbors. Inopportune barking or meowing and the smell of excrement are reprehensible neighborhood disturbances.
The condominium regulations can not prohibit you from having a pet that you own or rent. But it can prohibit the possession of dangerous animals (dog 1st or 2nd category in particular).

Can you install an antenna or dish on your balcony or terrace?

If the condominium does not have a dish or collective dish or connection to a cable network or if the existing facility does not allow you to receive the channels that interest you, you can install a dish. The "right to the antenna" is guaranteed by the law of 2 July 1966 supplemented by the law of 4 August 2008.
You must inform the trustee and the matter will be discussed before the meeting of co-owners. If she can not refuse to install a dish at your expense, she may ask you to install it on the roof rather than on your balcony.

Can you close your balcony or terrace?

Here too everything depends on the regulation of co-ownership. Some simply forbid any closure to preserve the exterior appearance of the building. If the by-law is silent on the matter or if it authorizes it, you will still have to obtain the agreement of the general meeting of co-owner. If you obtain their authorization, you must make a declaration of work at the town hall and comply with the current planning regulations.
If you close your balcony or terrace without authorization, the syndicate of co-owners may appeal to the district court and require you to dismantle the installation.

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